Mobile payments, IoT, software-defined networking – they’re all ongoing developments in the technology space, and their evolution in 2017 is set to hold our attention even further.
In 2017, we estimate that the world will move toward more interconnected commerce, a tightly woven ecosystem that will enable entirely new business models and opportunities for mobile and online payments providers, particularly as consumers continue to embrace new modes of transaction.
For merchants, this means greater choice in the technology available to serve their customers and grow their businesses. Definitely a field to watch.
Similarly, while the internet’s physical ‘backbone’, the cabling systems, networks and wires that enable rapid delivery of information will continue to grow, some of it will be dynamically controlled via software as optical networking shifts from ‘new’ to ‘norm.’
If 2016 is anything to go by, 2017 is set to hold a few surprises.
Here are my thoughts on three of the biggest trends set to shape our world of IT in 2017:
1.The Age of Interconnected Commerce
One of the most rapidly-evolving sectors today is the payments industry.
Increasing smartphone penetration and web access is enabling even greater popularity of mobile and online commerce, and doors continue to open for new business models that stand at the intersection of technology and payments.
At the same time, the decentralisation of payments services is expanding value for merchants too, who are now able to select the platforms that work best for their business and customers.
But to ensure this complicated ecosystem works, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Numerous players and masses of data are involved in ensuring every single mobile transaction is processed in a smooth and secure fashion.
To work effectively, digital commerce requires businesses to become interdependent and cloud-enabled, with instantaneous connectivity to compete in this new environment.
As we move into 2017, the need for instantaneous, secure interconnections between ecosystems –payment processors, banks, mobile wallet providers, and business to business payment companies – will be critical.
How interconnected commerce evolves and what it could provide remains unclear, but if other technology transformations (e.g. the worldwide Web, the smartphone) are any indication, we could expect a commerce renaissance that creates value for every participant at levels currently impossible.
2. Software-Defined Infrastructure and Advanced Networking
The massive and continuous surge in data traffic worldwide has paved the way for a new-age global network.
An advanced Internet ‘backbone’ you could say, that consists of intercontinental submarine cables, 5G wireless networks and satellites that beam data down to earth using lasers. In fact today, 99% of global Internet traffic runs through cables beneath the ocean floor.
This networking that previously depended on physical wiring, can now be dynamically controlled via software. Software-defined infrastructure allows the transformation of static IT infrastructure into a dynamic resource and now it’s enabled for optical networking too.
In 2017, optical networking (data encoded onto light) will shift from “new” to the “norm,” providing the massive bandwidth needed to push greater volumes of data generated in digital business – inside data centres, between data centres and across wide areas.
Going even further forward, we anticipate that the next generation infrastructure – compute, storage, network and data centres – will be open source based.
3. IoT and beyond
In 2017, IoT will truly evolve from single, vendor independent solutions to those that talk to each other leveraging the same data.
As the number of players in the value chain increases, the end-to-end service concept will take precedence. This means too that interconnection will become more important for access to networks and multiple clouds.
Going forward, the objective will be to relieve pressure on corporate-centric networks by distributing traffic more broadly as well as to better control the streaming of IoT information for more real-time business and operational insight.
Data centres will continue to play a critical role in each of these trends because, fundamentally they all rely on the rapid transit of information. A data centre now has to be a communications hub, an exchange centre for ecosystems, and a data hub, a place where you can run analytics, connectivity, and aggregate across multiple businesses and clouds from one location.
Jeremy Deutsch, Managing Director of Equinix Australia